Sanctuary. Ok, we just traveled an hour by bus to get here, then
walked around for a half hour or so looking for the place (the sign
pointing to the entrance had been uprooted and pointed us in the wrong direction).
Seeing we had invested a bit of time and effort into this venture, we
decided to pay the $1 each and go in anyway. And the man was right -
there were no birds. I think there were more birds outside and around
the park but for some reason they weren't going in.
It was a nice walk and worth the dollar I suppose. The best part was we met two nice young women on the bus ride who taught us how to say a
couple things in Malayam, the language of Kerala.
a couple nights. We arrived via public ferry from Alleppey, which only two hours cost just 50 cents each. The ferry is the cheap way to get a
feel for the Keralan backwaters, without spending a lot of money on a
houseboat tour. I highly recommend it if you're being really budget
conscious. We only spent a night in Alleppey but we loved our meals there (50 cent masala dosas)! It was Halloween and appropriately, we saw another giant spider!
Periyar Wildlife santuary, home to 40+ tigers and loads of other
animals. The 4 hr bus ride there was breathtaking. Kumily is up in
the mountains, the western ghats, and as we climbed we passed tea
estates, rubber plantations, and just outright gorgeous views of the
green landscape of Kerala.
We went on a 2.5 hr early morning "nature walk" at Periyar. They
warned us that there would be leeches so I rented a pair of leech
socks. Brandon decided to stick with his woolies tucked into his pants.
suckers dive into the mesh of my sneakers was rather horrifying. I
swatted them off my socks as best as I could and tried to enjoy the
The hike was beautiful. We walked through the forest for about an
hour. We saw a tree that had been scratched by a tiger. Then we entered a gorgeous clearing where bison and wild boar were grazing in the distance. They were the only big wildlife we saw - in the wet season the animals don't have to come out as often for water.
When we got back I took off my leech socks and was surprised to see no
bites. Brandon wasn't so lucky - he got 11 bites on his feet.
bleed for a while since the leeches inject an anti-coagulant Into the
blood. I decided to change my pants before heading out for breakfast
and there was a leech on my upper right calf!! Argh! Brandon quickly
grabbed a lighter, lit it under the leech, and it dropped off, fat and
full of my blood. Brandon figured that since it was so successful it
wouldn't be nice to kill it (plus it would have very messy) so he
airlifted it to the bushes outside.
We spent half the day laid up, waiting for our bites to stop bleeding. Fun times.
On a less bloody note, we went to a Kathakali performance one
evening. Kathakali is traditional Keralan dance. The performers get
all made up and use a lot of intricate hand and eye movements to tell
Here's a short video I took:
On a final note - on the main strip in Kumily there were two
restaurants across the street from each other - Sree Krishna and the
Lord's Family Restaurant. Which god makes the best food?
The Lord's Family Restaurant. Mary makes a damn good gobi masala.